Cover photo for Gerald Wayne "Jerry" Harper's Obituary
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Gerald Wayne "Jerry" Harper

June 12, 1946 — August 22, 2022

Gerald Wayne "Jerry" Harper

Gerald Wayne Harper (Jerry) passed away on Monday, August 22, 2022 at 3:30 a.m. The exact time he would set his alarm every morning in order to get a good workout in before work. He was 76 years old.Jerry was born in Tulsa on June 12, 1946, to Elzie and Jewel Harper. He graduated from McLain High School in 1965 and received a football scholarship to Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa. After attending his freshman year, Jerry voluntarily enlisted in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. He specialized in Artillery, completed a tour in Vietnam, and competed his service at rank of SP5.In 1977, Jerry got married, had his first daughter in 1986, and his youngest daughter in 1993.Whilst starting and growing his family, Jerry attended Oklahoma State University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in Geography as well as a master's degree in Geography. He returned to OSU several years later and completed a Ph.D in Education. During his lengthy teaching career, Jerry taught in Perkins, Perry, Stillwater and Shidler before finding his home in Jenks for over 30 years. He was a lifelong learner and educator who was blessed with the opportunity to practice his passion.In addition to teaching, Jerry also coached many ages of students, both girls and boys, in basketball and held a variety of coaching positions in football.Jerry was also an experienced football referee and basketball official as well as a softball umpire. His expertise took him all the way to the collegiate umpiring level.During Jerry's busy career, he also coached a women's slo-pitch softball team from Stillwater for 10 years, taking the team to a 1978 National championship. His abilities as a slo-pitch softball coach and umpire resulted in inductions into the Oklahoma Slo-Pitch Hall of Fame for each position. Jerry's most important role in the sporting world, however, was being his daughter's number one fan. Through countless hours of practice, traveling, and motivational speeches he helped them earn collegiate softball scholarships.Jerry was a health and fitness enthusiast, however, he single handedly kept the pizza, wing, and ice cream business afloat.Jerry was an avid model train collector. He spent many happy hours working on his S gauge engines and train cars. Music was another of Jerry's passions – Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Ozzie Osborne, B.B. King – and too many others to name. The louder the better!Jerry was extremely knowledgeable in geography, history and the sciences. He was the go-to-guy for these subjects during our family's Trivial Pursuit games. Jerry was kind and humble, he never met a stranger he couldn't give a lesson to. He had the driest humor, was intensely dedicated, strong-willed, passionate in his endeavors, and had unwavering love and support for his family. Jerry is survived by his wife, Linda, of Stillwater; daughters, Caitlin and Rachel, of Oklahoma City; several brothers- and sisters-in law; plus nieces, nephews and cousins.Jerry will be honored Saturday August 27th 11:00 a.m. at Smith & Kernke 14624 N. May Ave. Oklahoma City, OK 73134. Reception to follow after service at Smith and Kernke with burial at Resurrection Memorial Cemetery.In lieu of flowers, his family would appreciate donations to one of the following organizations:Parkinson's Foundation: www.parkinson.orgVietnam Veterans of America: www.VVA.org
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Past Services

Funeral Service

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Smith & Kernke Funeral Home (N. May)

14624 North May Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73134

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